Have you seen #7 Vignettes on Instagram? It’s a very fun, slightly addictive, monthly styling competition hosted by http://theinteriorsaddict.com. The aim is to style 7 different images based on 7 different themes over 7 days. What that actually means is that you tear apart your house looking for the perfect prop, leaving mess and chaos around you, and ignoring your children and family for a week. Or maybe that’s just me!
In fact the very reason I joined instagram over two years ago was to take part in the August 2013 round. I had read about this thing called #7vignettes while trawling through blogs and, as a stay at home mum with a 3 month old baby looking for a bit of creativity to break up my day, I thought I’d give it a go.
It’s funny looking back on it now that the chance decision of making my instagram profile public to take part in #7vignettes would be so life changing. I’ve made an incredible network of friends as a result of joining in, the community is really supportive and creative. Each month I’m inspired to do better, think about the theme in a different way or just take a risk. My style has developed a lot over that time. And while I’m not a vignette master by any stretch of the imagination, I find the process relaxing and really enjoyable. I find that I can usually overcome any creative block by setting a 5 minute time limit to throw an image together.
I thought I’d share with you a little step-by-step tutorial of how I put together one vignette for the theme ‘gift wrap’ from the December round.
I start by collecting a few props I think might work. For this image I have decided to use a marble back drop and as the theme is gift wrap I have scissors, paper and a few embellishments.
I’ve decided that I need a bit of texture against my backdrop so I lay out my gold leaves at the top of the square. I’ve done all my vignettes in a square format and I try and think about the overall composition as I start arranging. I’ve got an idea in my head of how I want it to look, with the items starting at the top of the square and creeping down.
I wrap the brown origrami boxes that were in the first image in some plain white paper and tie two with brown string. I want the wrapping to be really simple so that the detail that I’m planning will contrast. (as a side note, if you ever need to wrap a fake present for an image those origrami boxes are the bomb!)
I’ve used stars in many of my other images for this series and I want to feature them here to tie the series together. This star is folded out of old sheet music and then I’ve painted one half gold and given it a sprinkle of glitter.
And now I add the gold dipped feathers. These are the focus of the image for me, they are soft and pretty against the plain wrapping and add another textural element. I’ve also added a few more stars.
Next I add even more stars. I’m really looking for a layered effect in this image and the whole series. I feel that this is still missing something…
And so I add another gold leaf under the third present, and I add in a few of my star cookie cutters to add some metallic contrast. I also add in a pair of the scissors but I’m not entirely happy with them there. I subscribe to the idea that you should remove one item from an image when you think it’s done. So let’s remove the scissors and see…
And there you have it, the final image! I’m happy with this, it’s pretty much what I had in mind when I started and it took me about 15 mins from collecting the materials to snapping the final image. I should also fess up that the mess is still sitting on my table. Shhh don’t tell my husband.